Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has arrived in Jermuk — a resort town in Vayots Dzor Province. The visit comes amid the controversy over the possible exploitation of Amulsar gold mine which is just 18 km far from the town and as environmentalists suggest may cause significant environmental damages in case of the mine exploitation.
Pashinyan is holding meetings with the residents, the majority of whom oppose the mine operation. A group of locals meanwhile have gathered outside the Mayor’s office expecting a meeting with the PM.
“We will not allow the mine operation. We have water which is more than the gold. They want to turn Jermuk into a mining town but it will not happen,” one of the residents told reporters.
To remind, Pashinyan earlier announced his government’s intention to approve the resumption of excavation activities at Amulsar mine based on the conclusions of the independent audit report.
The controversial decision triggered a wide discontent and opposition among the public and environmentalists, claiming the expertise conclusion is incomplete and not trustworthy, insisting the operation of the gold mine owned and operated by Lydian Armenia may cause a serious damage to the environment.